A Managers Guide to Employee Motivation (Tips)
Employee motivation is an amalgamation of a number of factors such as the energy level, creativity, and commitment that an employee brings to the table at the workplace. Companies have always found it challenging to find ways to motivate their employees. However, employee motivation is a crucial factor because a low employee motivation is certainly not healthy for the overall growth of the organization. If low employee motivation is not taken care of, it eventually leads to disengagement, complacency, and infectious detraction.
How to Encourage Employee Motivation
Although employers understand the significance of employee motivation in order to create a healthy working environment, most of the times organisations fail to accomplish it in their day to day mission. This happens primarily due to their lack of skill and knowledge to provide a work environment that encourages employee motivation. It has been observed that quite often organisations fail to pay attention to involvement issues, recognition, and communication which are of great significance to employees. Listed below are a couple of factors that encourage motivation at the workplace.
A Few Motivating Factors
- Encouraging leadership and management actions that promote empowerment of employees.
- Promoting transparent and communication at regular intervals pertaining to factors that is important to employees.
- Treating your employees with respect.
- Encouraging employee participation or involvement in decisions pertaining to their job.
- Minimising the number of rules and policies thereby demonstrating trust towards employees.
- Promoting employee encouragement via rewards and recognition.
- Providing employee perks at regular intervals.
It is a misconception amongst employers that having too many rules and policies help in driving the organisation better. On the contrary, the first step towards creating a motivating environment for employees is to minimize actions that may end up de-motivating employees.
It is rather advisable to identify and take the actions that will motivate employees. It is very important to strike a balance between meeting the needs of the organisation while keeping a motivated work force by meeting their needs.
Guidelines for Creating a Motivating Work Environment
- Formulate the required rules and policies as required to keep your organisation compliant.
- Practice an open sharing of rules and policies with your employees and educate them.
- Involve your employees to identify organisational values and formulate value statements and a professional code of conduct that is mutually agreed and embraced.
- Educate your managers and develop guidelines for them so that they practice fair and consistent application of the rules and policies.
- Address individual performance issues or dysfunctional behaviors via counseling, performance improvement plans, and progressive discipline.
- Communicate clearly to the employees the expectations and guidelines pertaining to exhibiting professional behavior at the work place.
Encouraging Employee Motivation
- It is recommended that you seek and solicit employee feedback before enforcing potential policies. It is not advisable to enforce policies like an autocrat by directly posting it on a bulletin board.
- When you feel the need for enforcing a policy for the betterment of the company, it is important to have a town hall where you can explain the policy, the intent of introducing the policy, explain why it is important, and also explain why it was not enforced in the past. Communicate in this forum to your employees that it is important for everyone to adhere to this policy for the reasons explained. Also, encourage the employees to clarify their doubts on this platform.
- If the policies are legitimate, you will automatically receive an encouraging response from the employees of your organization. Employees are also sensitive towards important policies when the expectations are clear. People prefer well organized work places and they like to be a part of an organization where everyone follows the same rules and there is no discrimination.
10 Tips on How to Motivate Employees
Here are some tips that can help you to build an environment conducive to employee motivation:
- Encourage the employees to come forward and share ideas about how they can improve the way in which they perform their job and also make an employee friendly work place.
- Always ensure that you take an effort to reward and recognise employees who proactively participate in making decisions pertaining to improving and enhancing their performance and productivity at the work place.
- Make it a practice to educate, communicate, and train your employees in such a manner that everyone knows and understands the organisation’s mission, values, vision, and guidelines at the back of their hands.
- Avoid discouraging thoughtful decisions when shared by employees. You can always reach a common ground by coaching, counseling, and providing appropriate training pertaining to the decision. Exhibit your support towards the employee’s proactiveness for displaying his or her involvement in decision making.
- Instil confidence in your employees that if their approach or suggestion is reasonable, they need not consult the supervisor every time until and unless an intervention is actually required. This kind of instruction instills confidence within employees. You should reinforce the employee’s belief that you have trust in his or her competency skills. Act as a consultant and not as a supervisor in this kind of scenario.
- There may be a situation where you know for a fact that if the employee takes this particular decision, he or she may fail or it may cause a problem for your customer, always ensure that you provide your valuable guidance as a coach. It is not at all advisable to allow the employee to fail in order to teach a lesson. If you do so, you will not be teaching a lesson, rather you will be killing his confidence to try our new things in future. Fear of failure is a great barrier in creating proactiveness amongst employees. So you should never allow such a situation to crop up. Rather always intervene as a coach and share your experience and advice with them.
- In situations where you know yourself what is the best solution owing to your experience, do not solicit ideas and feedback because it is wasting your employees’ time and losing their trust and confidence if they come to know you have just asked for their opinion for the heck of it. Such action creates unrest and low motivation at the workplace. Nobody likes to be toyed around.
- Encourage feedback or retrospective sessions at the end of every project. A retrospective session is very healthy as, you can discuss openly with your employees what went right, what did not happen right, and what could have been better. By encouraging feedback, you create a sense of ownership, and ensure that with productive takeaways from the retrospective session, future loopholes can be taken care of easily. Also, people learn from mistakes. By openly discussing what did not go right, people become aware of what not to repeat in future.
- Change your perspective about your employees. Nobody comes to work in an organization to fail at the workplace. By keeping the motivation level of your employees high, you promote a healthy working environment.
- Eliminate the barriers that discourage employees and instead take consequent actions that promote a level of employee motivation.